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259 Ratings

Esther Kahn

Directed by Arnaud Desplechin
France, United Kingdom, 2000


Esther Kahn, is born to Jewish immigrant parents who both work in the rag trade and live in the East End of 19th century London. She is slow and closed in on herself, except when she goes to the theater. She decides to become an actress, and the experiences she has onstage slowly transform her.

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Esther Kahn Directed by Arnaud Desplechin

Awards & Festivals


2000 | Honorable Mention: Reader Jury of the Standard

Phoenix’s un-suppressible discomfort is matched by the dim lighting, drab interior design and meticulous human honesty driving the drama. Esther Kahn could have been made a hundred years ago and it would still hold some viewers under its weird spell. It discovers a truth about this complicated woman that is, if bracing and less than easy to fully grip, undeniably moving.
October 07, 2015
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Brilliantly edited and gorgeously shot, Esther Kahn is a dream to look at and, courtesy of Howard Shore’s minor chords and high-strung strings, definitely something to hear.
January 16, 2003
It’s a bit unsettling to look forward to a movie so much and then see it live up to every expectation and, at the same time, defy them all. Esther Kahn accomplished this, and ever since I walked out of the theater, alone, feeling as though I should find a park bench and cry for a while, I have been unable to get this film out of my head.
May 28, 2002
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